EXCLUSIVE: Celebuzz Finds Out Why MTV’s New Series ‘Happyland’ Is Unlike Any Teen Dramedy You’ve Seen Before
Or where Snoopy dissapeared to after giving you a great big hug and a signature for your book at Knott’s Berry Farm?
We all want to buy into the magic forever, but as time goes on it becomes harder and harder to not wonder: what really goes on behind the scenes of those golden gates to wonderment?
Which is why MTV’s newest series Happyland is bound to make all of your dreams come true – in the sense that it will finally show you the side of theme parks you’ve been dying to see.
Centering around the ever-popular, fantastical world of “Happyland”, this edgy teen dramedy poses a fresh look at the not-so-dreamy reality of what it’s like to work and live within an amusement park.
Bianca Santos stars as Lucy, a cynical yet studious 17 year old girl who has grown up working in the park all her life with her optimistic mother Elena (Camille Gauty) by her side, and is now looking for an escape. When the owner of the park’s son, Ian (Shane Harper), shows up as a newbie to the staff however, he brings with him potential romance, as well as a secret bound to turn Lucy’s fairy tale world upside down.
Not-so-big-*spoiler*-alert (it’s in the trailer for the pilot): Lucy and Ian may have found love in an incredibly hopeless place seeing as there is a slight chance they are…well, brother and sister.
Yikes. Talk about disaster right? Not to mention, this element has caused quite the buzz in anticipation for the show’s release.
But when we asked Bianca about it, she not only assured us that Happyland was not about to be MTV’s newest incest love story (thank god) but also let us know that if we assumed that this would be the craziest element to this show, we were dead wrong.
“The idea that we could be related is just something that serves as the catalyst for all of the other things that are going to happen throughout the show. It is the initial thing that happens at the beginning of the series that causes all of these characters to come into direct conflict with each other” Santos explains, “And through that Lucy is in a direct conflict with her mom, who has lied to her for years, she now has an awkward relationship with this guy who she just met and all of the sudden she’s acting weird with her best friends, having trouble at work, and even more secrets come out because of it. The way in which this show escalates in only 8 episodes is crazy and I think people are going to become addicted because of it.”
Katherine McNamara, who plays Lucy’s best friend Harper on the show, sheds more light on this subject, explaining why the story – while certainly complex – is one of a kind in terms of its genre.
“We have such a great dynamic and all of the relationships intertwine in this really strange way…I mean, we have moved past the concept of a love triangle at this point – we have a love octagon on our show because there are so many different plot lines and relationships that all just twist into a giant knot that we somehow try to unravel by the end of the season. It’s complicated but it’s a great time, we just had so much fun with it” said McNamara.
I mean, if you can’t make fun of possible incest, what kind of teen dramedy show are you anyway, amiright?
All jokes aside though, one may wonder how such a wildly authentic idea could come about for a TV series. Ben Epstien, the shows visionary and creator, puts it simply for us.
“I was really attracted to the idea of a fairy tale story that you could tell in a modern, well rounded, realistic world and a theme park just totally lent itself to that. I grew up doing Shakespeare plays – which is the most pretentious thing I will say during this interview – and I was always into stories like Twelfth Night and As You Like It where there was mistaken identity with a form of royalty and that’s kind of where the idea for Happyland came from” said Epstein.
So I guess we can thank Shakespeare, of all people, for bringing Happyland into the TV-sphere and onto our radar.
And if you’re curious to know some of the cast’s favorite theme parks and rides…
Shane, who claims to “hate roller coasters” has a soft spot for Disneyland’s Space Mountain, “I could go on it a million times and I know it is technically a roller coaster, but it’s not like a Six Flags Magic Mountain ride. I would literally never go on one of those – I would be way too scared.”
As for Bianca, it just so happens she has an affinity for Disneyland and Space Mountain too, “I love that ride, it’s just a classic for me.”
What do ya know? “The Happiest Place on Earth” gets Happyland’s vote for biggest and the best of amusement parks.
Totally didn’t see that one coming. *wink wink*
Happyland premieres tonight, Tuesday September 30th, at 11pm on MTV after Awkward and Faking It.